Here is the lineup:
DeSalvo RHP (1-3, 5.87)
Howell LHP (1-3, 6.62)
Pregame chatter: Jason Giambi took batting practice today in Tampa for the first time since starting his rehab. … There was a crowd of Taiwanese media outside the Stadium for Game 1. Former prime minister and presidential candidate Chang-Ting Hsieh attended the game and was trying to arrange a meeting with Chien-Ming Wang. Even a photo with Wang would be huge for a politcal candidate in Taiwan. No word on whether Wang consented to the meeting.
In doing research on the possible Proctor/Wigginton trade, I was surprised to see that Wigginton has 38 homers and 126 RBI over the last two seasons. He also has been a better second-half player and is a career .348 hitter in “late and close” situations. Having his bat as a bench player could be a valuable resource. He would certainly give them more than the alternatives on the bench at the moment.
Wigginton is at .281/.331/.464. I’ll take that over Miguel Cairo (.257/.315/.317).
Proctor has had his moments but is he going to give you that much more than a Chris Britton? Now that Vizcaino is pitching well, Proctor wouldn’t be a huge loss.
UPDATE, 7:28 p.m.: I don’t think Thurston Howell is going the distance here. … Igawa gave the Yankees 5 innings. If DeSalvo does the same, I’d consider that a huge victory for the Yankees today. 10 innings out of those two guys is a lot to expect given their histories. … I know I’m not supposed to root, but it’s a good feeling whenever Andy Phillips gets a hit. His wife gets cancer, his mother nearly dies, he gets put on waivers and now he’s back and hitting .307 with 14 RBI in 25 games? That’s good stuff.
UPDATE, 7:47 p.m.: Damon has robbed Iwamura twice in two innings. He’s not hurt, which is why you can’t DL him. He’s just in a terrible slump. If he gets his act together, he can he a huge, huge player for them.
UPDATE, 8:18 p.m.: Wil Nieves now has 4 RBI since the break. Holy Cow. … Here’s how much of a professional Jorge Posada is. With Nieves on the bases when the inning ended, Posada grabbed his glove and mask and was waiting to warm up Matt DeSalvo when the right-hander went to the mound. On a lot of teams, somebody else would do that.
UPDATE, 8:49 p.m.: Up 7-2 and DeSalvo walked the No. 9 hitter to start the inning. That stuff drives managers and pitching coaches crazy. They’re looking for five halfway decent innings and DeSalvo may not even get that as his pitch counts creeps toward 100.
It’s right that they’re being cautious with Phil Hughes. But they need him in the rotation badly.
UPDATE, 9:25 p.m.: Igawa and DeSalvo today: 9.2 14 6 6 5 10. That’s actually better than I thought they’d do. Six runs in 9.2 innings from those two? Not awful.
Now they need to squeeze nine outs out of the bullpen. Andy Pettitte better be on his way home to get some sleep. He’ll be going seven tomorrow no matter what.
UPDATE, 9:41 p.m.: Two doubles and a dinger for A-Rod. I guess his mini-slump has passed. That’s 33 homers and 95 RBI (in 97 games) this season. He’s at 497 homers for his career.
Meanwhile, how does Jay Witasick keep finding work in baseball?
UPDATE, 10:03 p.m.: I’ll find out after the game who is wearing Wil Nieves’ uniform. That Brian Cashman really should tell us when he makes trades.
Meanwhile, Joe Torre continues to look foolish for starting Johnny Damon. That’s two doubles, four RBI, two runs scored, a walk, a stolen base and two great catches. And those bullpen moves. Two runs in 6.1 innings. What a dope.